LAHDC Leh organizes a special meeting on environmental protection

Leh, December 24 (Scoop News)-The Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh today called a special meeting at the Conference Hall to discuss a strategy paper submitted by Martine Cabarez on environmental protection and sustainable development through ecotourism.


In view of the growing tourism in Ladakh and impacts of it to the ecology and culture of Ladakh Rigzin Spalbar, CEC, LAHC specially invited Martine, who is an expert in ecotourism and sustainable development, to draft a special proposal for Ladakh under the perspective of Vision Document -2025 pertaining to chapter on Tourism.


Martine Cabarez presented her paper that dwelled upon various issues related to tourism in Ladakh including impacts of tourism, ecotourism, concept of sustainable development, conservation and valorization of cultural heritage, handicrafts and valorization of local products, communication and commercialization and tourism evolution in Ladakh etc.  


 Responding to the presentation CEC suggested Martine to be more precise in her presentation especially highlighting the areas where interventions are needed and concrete action plan in those specific areas of tourism. He also asked Martine to have a team of resource people comprising national and local expertise as well.


Spalbar made it clear that vision is already there, in the form of Vision Document, and it was time for initiating the process of devising strategy for implementation of a workable and feasible action plan that has to be evolved through consensus of every stakeholder in this sector. He stressed on making Ladakh a niche tourist destination for selective groups of tourists, who are sensible to ecology and local culture.


Community tourism is what we look at, and eventually to prioritize it in our tourism policy, he asserted while urging upon the tour operators and taxi union to organize trainings to all the taxi drivers and travel guides on mandatory basis in order to sensitize them on the sensitivities such as conserving local environment. CEC directed the Tourism department and Wildlife department to strictly regulate the rules and registration processes.


Among others who spoke on the occasion was Jigmet Takpa, Conservator Forest, Ladakh, who apprised about the need for a fast consensus for enforcement of existing laws and rules, and to keep a check on enchroachment with impunity. E S Gergan, Educationist, pointed out the need to help people obey rules. P T Kunzang highlighted the work action gap problem until now regarding tourism, while as Tsering Namgyal a tour operator strongly felt the need to regulate and control the inflow of domestic tourists.


Councillor, Dawa Tsering was expressed concern about the flooding in of unorganized groups operated by popular national travel companies such as Make My Trip, Yatra. Dot. Com in Ladakh, and suggested to regulate the growing number of taxis and travel agencies in the district.


Present on the occasion were EC Agriculture, EC CAPD, ADC, Leh,  Councillors, District Officials and representatives of Hoteliers and tour operators, taxi union, and cultural organizations.